The first Covid-19 vaccine in the US was given a year ago, these are the figures

The first Covid-19 vaccine in the US was given a year ago, these are the figures

On December 14 of 2020, a year ago, nurse Sandra Lindsay rolled up the left sleeve of her shirt at a New York City hospital and was one of the first people in the United States to receive the covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccine was from Pfizer / BioNTech, which had received emergency use clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just three days earlier.

This was the first backlash to a deadly virus that paralyzed the country and closed off much of the world. Soon, authorizations for COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson arrived.

One year later, millions of people in the US – thousands of millions worldwide – have received the coronavirus vaccine. Yes, the pandemic still remains. But vaccination has saved countless lives, reduced hospitalizations, and helped restore some normalcy to our social activities.

They have also been greeted with skepticism and fear by many people who refuse to be vaccinated. Vaccination mandates have sparked protests, pitted companies against their workers and complicated international travel.

Added to this is the fact that vaccine doses have disproportionately reached the richest countries. Which leaves the poorest nations with less protection.

One year after the start of vaccination, the world is fighting pandemic fatigue and the threats of new variants. But, hundreds of thousands of people still go to the US for their vaccination every day.

This is a summary of the main figures on the vaccine against covid-19, one year after its doses began to be administered.

At least 485 million

This is the number of doses of coronavirus vaccines that have been administered so far in the United States, when it is one year old.

Almost 60% of the vaccines administered this year have been from Pfizer / BioNTech, while another 38% correspond to the Moderna vaccine. Less than 4% of administered doses are from J&J.

At least 202 million

This is the number of people of all ages who are fully vaccinated in the United States –– about 60.9% of the total population––, according to figures this week released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diseases (CDC).

Vaccination coverage in the US increases by age group. More than 87% of older people are fully vaccinated. This contrasts with less than 60% of adults under 25 years of age and approximately half of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.

Racial disparities in vaccination also persist, but the differences are not as wide as in the first few months.


The percentage of eligible people in the U.S., including adults and children ages 5 and older, who have not received a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to CDC data. That represents approximately 73 million people. The CDC notes that the first doses can be overestimated, as the records do not always include enough information to determine whether an injection was given as a first dose, second dose or booster.

Vaccine adoption varies widely from state to state. For example, more than three-quarters of the people in Vermont are fully vaccinated. But there are still six states where less than half of residents have their full immunization schedule, according to CDC data: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming.

2 millions

The average number of doses given each day in the United States.

During the first month of the vaccination campaign in the country, an average of less than 1 million doses per day were administered. That skyrocketed to a peak of about 3.4 million doses per day in mid-April once eligibility was expanded to all adults.

The rate of vaccination dropped dramatically during the summer, but has grown again. In that sense, the booster doses represent more than half of the number that is administered each day.

The daily rate of booster shots has increased rapidly in recent weeks since the omicron variant was identified.


The percentage of children ages 5 to 11 in the United States who have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to a report the Kaiser Family Foundation released this month.

“After a brief period of high demand, the rate of new vaccinations slowed significantly before Thanksgiving, and has continued at a slower pace since then,” the report said.

CDC data brings that figure closer to 19%. However, the agency notes that the first few doses may be overstated. About 10% of children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

About 3 in 10

This is the proportion of parents who are concerned about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in their children and say they will “definitely not” vaccinate their children. The figures are from a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in November.

In recent months, the vaccination rate has dropped among teens ages 12 to 17, the organization added.


The percentage of pregnant women in the U.S. who have received the vaccine, according to the CDC.

“People who are pregnant or recently pregnant are at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including admission to intensive care units, respirator use, and death,” says the CDC.

The risk of hospitalizations for pregnant women has skyrocketed since the delta variant became predominant in the country.

8.5 billion

The number of vaccines administered worldwide so far.

But despite international efforts, inequality in vaccine administration remains a concern. The World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted equitable access to vaccines between rich and poor countries. But, nations with more resources still have a much higher vaccination rate.

“The vast majority have been administered in high- and middle- to high-income countries,” says WHO. “If these doses had been distributed equitably, they would have been enough to cover all healthcare workers and older people around the world.”


The proportion of the world’s population that is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Our World in Data. This online publication belongs to a team of researchers at the University of Oxford. High-income countries have administered more than twice the doses of vaccines per capita compared to low-income countries.

At least 65%

The percentage of people vaccinated at least partially in high-income countries like France, Japan and the United States, according to the United Nations. That represents about two out of every three people in those countries.

At least 8.35%

The percentage of people vaccinated at least partially in low-income countries like Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Sudan, according to the UN. That represents about one in 12 people.

Almost 800,000

The number of reported coronavirus deaths in the United States.

5.3 million

The number of reported coronavirus deaths worldwide.

Ben Oakley
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